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In defence of the traffic cop

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Fri, Feb 24. 2012

Editor: The Mighty Sparrow has a song which deals with an old man, a little boy and a donkey. I have also read about that story in a copy of Our Daily Bread booklet some years ago. It speaks of a man setting out on a journey with his donkey and a little boy. He decided to put the little boy on the donkey as he walked alongside them.{{more}} As they got to the first village they were criticized for the decision taken. This continued as the moved through the different villages until finally they were called foolish and were laughed at.

In their effort to please others, they ended up displeasing themselves and were in the end looked at as fools. This story tells me that we cannot please everyone. No matter what one does there will always be someone who will be displeased by what you do.

In the newspapers of last weekend the Traffic police were asked to get their act together. As I read through the article, I realized that the writer was not too pleased with the way he and other motorists who use that road exiting at KFC/Pizza Hut at Arnos Vale, are treated.

I wonder to myself, suppose the officer at that junction decides to let out about fifteen vehicles every ten minutes, what will be the remarks from those motorists on the main? For sure, someone on the main will think that the policeman is punishing them, too. You might also see in the newspaper or hear on the radio, or the Commissioner might get a phone call criticizing that policeman for doing his work. So no mater what he does, he will still get licks.

Has anyone ever sat and wondered the pressure he is sometimes under at that junction? He has to be mindful of the fact that his commissioner will be coming along that route, or some minister of government, or some other person who thinks he has some rank in society, who does not want to be held up. When one compares the traffic on the main coming from the roundabout to that coming down the Cain Hall road, the traffic is much greater coming from the roundabout. One will expect that the traffic cop will allow more vehicles to flow along the main that he would allow to come out of the side roads. After all, the traffic on the main has the right of way.

The writer states that when that point is unmanned by an officer, the traffic flows like a dream. Mind you, sir, not all drivers on the major road will co-operate with you. What if those coming from the opposite side refuse to stop? And do you know that when a nice driver decides to stop to let you out every one will want to come out at one time not caring if the road is blocked, preventing the traffic out of town to back up? And, oh yes, there will be those on the main behind, who will sure dig a pile.

I do not use that route; I rather go over the Queen’s Drive road and come out at ‘Bum Bum’. A bit more fuel used, yes, but it takes me less time doing so; than the time it will take me if I wait in that line.

If one finds himself trapped on that road every morning, all he has to do is leave home a bit earlier or use another way out and stop blaming the traffic cop.

I urge the members of the traffic department to look beyond these criticisms and look at the bigger picture, being reminded at all times that no matter how well you do your job you still won’t be able to please everyone. Just continue to do it without fear or favor, affection or ill will, and to the best of your ability. Only you will know what you have to go through daily as you conduct the traffic on our small and narrow roads. God bless you and keep you safe always as you put you life in danger to keep our roads safe.

SKIM

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